As the conflict between Israeli forces and Hamas terrorists continues to escalate in Gaza, new developments are coming to light about the bombing of a skyrise there that housed offices for media outlets including the Associated Press.
Though Israel experienced public backlash for targeting a building used by civilian journalists, Breitbart reports that Israeli leaders had “smoking gun” evidence to show U.S. intelligence officials that proved that Hamas was operating out of the facility, and that the terror group was using international outlets like the AP and Al Jazeera as “human shields.”
“We showed them the smoking gun”
It was on Saturday, as fighting continued between Hamas and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), that the building was destroyed by Israeli bombs. Of course, Israel provided plenty of advanced warning to anyone sheltering in the building to evacuate, a move that seems to have averted any civilian deaths.
The IDF has been impressively transparent with its military operations and decisions on its official Twitter account. That was especially true on Saturday as it posted a picture of the building in question and explained why it was targeted by IDF fighter jets.
After providing advance warning to civilians & time to evacuate, IDF fighter jets struck a multi-story building containing Hamas military intelligence assets.
The building contained civilian media offices, which Hamas hides behind and deliberately uses as human shields. pic.twitter.com/zeDjEquePD
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 15, 2021
Though President Joe Biden originally expressed concerns about the bombing of the building, according to the Jerusalem Post, Biden and other U.S. officials had been briefed on the actions that Isreal would take to neutralize the building, which reportedly contained Hamas intelligence offices.
“We showed them the smoking gun proving Hamas worked out of that building,” a senior diplomatic source in Israel reportedly said. “I understand they found the explanation satisfactory.”
“We share all the intelligence”
During an interview over the weekend on CBS’s Face the Nation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed the source’s claim that U.S. officials were briefed on terrorist occupants in the building, adding that he believed the Jala Tower in Gaza was a “legit” target.
“We share all the intelligence with our American friends,” Netanyahu said, according to the Jerusalem Post. “The intelligence we had is about an intelligence office for [Hamas] housed in that building that plots and organizes terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians. It is a perfectly legit target.”
Netanyahu also stressed that due to the customary advanced warning that IDF forces send out prior to bombing targets that could contain civilians, there were no deaths when the building was taken out.
The Associated Press was dragged on social media over the weekend after its president and CEO, Gary Pruitt, publicly denied any knowledge that Hamas terrorists were working out of the same building as his global media outlet, Breitbart reported.
Both Pruitt and top brass at Al Jazeera have strongly condemned the bombing of the building, with Al Jazeera’s acting director-general Dr. Mostefa Souag claiming that the IDF strike was an intentional act to “silence the media and to hide the untold carnage and suffering of the people of Gaza.”